Thursday, March 10, 2011

De Soto Bike Shorts Product Review

I got a pair of the De Soto 400-Mile Bike Shorts from Paul for Christmas.  After having been able to wear them for the last couple of months on my trainer rides I thought I'd give them a shout out on here as I LOVE them.

You can find these shorts on the De Soto Sport website and they come in black/white stitching.  At $128 they're a little pricier than alot of cycling shorts but after using them I can honestly say they are so worth the extra money.

First Impressions - The first thing I noticed about these shorts was the fabric.  Made of 63% nylon and 37% spandex they have a really interesting feel compared to my other cycling shorts (that are 84% nylon and 26% spandex by the way).  They feel alot lighter and almost papery if that makes any sense.  I also really love how the stitching on them looks.  De Soto describes these shorts as having "Curvilinear-TM seamlines".  I describe them as really flattering and slimming.  Finally, the pad on these shorts seemed really thin compared to some of the other cycling shorts that I have.  I was a little worried about this because the one pair of cycling shorts that I do have with a thinner pad are pure torture to wear.  The thin pad chafes in very unfortunate places and there is no protection to speak of in the most important areas of the lady business.  Overall, my first impressions were mostly good albeit I was a little skeptical of the padding.

I must think these look slimming to put a picture of me wearing cycling shorts on the Internet.
Please don't burst my bubble if you don't think I look good in them!

Fit - The size small that Paul bought for me fit perfectly.  As that's normally the size that I wear in exercise gear I can say that they run true to size.  The small has a 7" inseam (medium is 7.5" and large is 8") and I find them to be the perfect length.  The padding feels really comfortable and needs no monkeying around to make things feel comfortable and in place.  Finally, I really like that these don't have those annoying grippers around the thighs that I'm always having to roll up to keep from cutting off my circulation (and frankly because a binding around the meaty part of your thigh does nobody a favour).

Function - The true test of these shorts would of course be how they held up while on the bike.  As good as a pair of shorts may make me think I look it's not worth it to be suffering at the end of a ride.  These shorts did not disappoint!  The interesting fabric feels significantly cooler against your skin than a regular cycling short and helps cut down on the sweat factor.  The compression fit helps to keep things in place and the shorts always feel like they're moving with you.  I also discovered that these shorts have a handy little pocket at the back that is great for gels or even a cell phone (my iPhone fits perfectly).  This is exciting because on those longs rides I tend to have alot of stuff with me and the more pockets the merrier I say - especially when they're discreet and barely noticeable.  I did have Paul take a picture of the rear view showing the pocket but I'm not brave enough to post it.  Trust me though - it's cool (the pocket, not the picture of my rear).  And finally, the most important test was the padding.  As I said, I was dubious at the outset that this thin of a pad would cut it.  The verdict?  They are awesome!  It moves with you as a thicker pad does without the whole diaper feeling.  Also, because it moves with you so well there aren't any sharp edges chafing against your skin like some other thin padded cycling and triathlon shorts do. 

If you're looking for a really good pair of cycling shorts and don't mind spending a little bit extra for really good quality I would highly recommend you get yourself a pair of these.  Paul has ordered from De Soto online not only these shorts but also a bikini for me (see post about that here).  He has only good things to say about the ordering experience and the customer service.  He needed to exchange one of the bikini pieces and they were really helpful and quick about the exchange.  This is important to know because I'm frankly always a little bit nervous about ordering products online.

Note:  I (well okay, Paul) purchased these shorts and I was therefore not influenced in any way to write a review that was not entirely my honest opinion


  1. Nice shorts! I checked out their website, and the next time I've got an extra $128, I'll have to get some!

    I think it's pretty cool that you and I will be doing Steelhead for the first time this year. It'll be nice to finally meet you and Paul. Chicago Marathon is closed, so I'm super close to signing up for the Detroit Marathon. I might see you there too!

    Good luck as you train!

  2. If I thought I would look like you in them I'd pay much more then $128. :) As it is I think I might check them out any way. They are cute and what a rave review!

  3. They look awesome! I'm totally tempted to get a pair. Maybe in the fall after racing fee shock is behind me!

  4. They look great on you! Thanks for the review!

  5. I am extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays.
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  6. A lot of people don't know about this factor when you ask them. Well, you have to pay your respects to your bicycle that you are riding by wearing proper bike shorts. Can you imagine yourself riding an expensive road bike and wearing a pair of home cotton pants? The point is, if you want to cycle, cycle the right way. You have to wear a pair of cycling shorts.

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